Thursday, April 1, 2010
Just for kicks
I miss my old childhood neighbor friend Eliot "Bass" Solsrud, who will never visit the Sanctuary for the simple reason that he never crossed the bridge. To the internet, to modern technology, to the blogosphere, to what we have here. Which may be modest but, damn, it's got to be better than playing the pull tabs back in Whitehall. And we all lose, because Bass would be a great addition to our little club.
He was my partner in crime when it came to music. Not as a player -- I don't know that he ever picked up an instrument -- but as a disciple of the songs and music that defined our generation. And it was THE generation. The Sixties. He's a year older than me and he lived behind our house at the bottom of the hill on Ellis Street, next to the neighborhood whiffle ball field, which had permanent bases, an elevated mound, and a home run fence. (The short porch in right field was literally Marvin's garden.)
Bass is still around. I see him occasionally, usually in that tavern on Main Street. I bought him a beer one time and brought up music, but talk was small when we talked at all, to thieve a line from an old song. I mentioned the Sanctuary, knowing we'd have a real player on our hands if we could just get him through the portal. Not going to happen.
We used to play this silly game -- maybe you've played it too -- where we'd try to stump each other with minutiae we memorized while collecting 45 RPM records, and our collections were impressive. It went like this:
"Red Rubber Ball?"
"Columbia. Song length?"
"Two minutes, twenty seconds. Songwriter?"
"Simon and Woodley. Flip side?
"That would be the very forgettable 'How Can I Leave Her' which, by the way, clocks in at two minutes, thirty-five seconds. Next."
On and on we'd go, from one record to another, some more obscure than others. It might be an hour before somebody got stumped. Of course we knew the lyrics:
I should have known you'd bid me farewell
There's a lesson to be learned from this and I learned it very well
Now I know you're not the only starfish in the sea
If I never hear your name again it's all the same to me
And I think it's gonna be alright
Yeah, the worst is over now
The mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball
Where are you this morning Bass? I wanted to ask you about "Kicks," which was making its way up the charts about this time in 1966.
Kicks just keep gettin' harder to find...